Acrylic Number Canvas Painting

Hello friends!  I return from art and blog hibernation (i.e. spending all of my time on spring gardening, costuming, and painting fails!) with the start of a new acrylic & mixed media canvas series.  This is directly inspired by Donna Downey’s 10 10×10 Canvases in 10 Days online workshop.  If I had to pick an artist whose talent, technique and style I most want to strive towards, I think Donna would be it (though Tamara from willowingarts is right up there!)  Such beautiful use of color and combination of abstract and representational subjects in her work, and THE TEXTURE!  Oh my, I love it.  Donna has a fun, energetic and informative teaching style, making her workshops a joy.  I watched the 10×10 workshop through twice now, and likely will again to really let all of the nuances sink in.

This first canvas in my own series is, well, not actually the first one. The actual first one was painted, gessoed over, painted again, and… well, it’s still not posted here, so guess how that one is going 😉  This is technically the second, and while I still struggle with all of my art, it did come through easier.

Acrylic Number Canvas Painting

The theme for this series is numbers, and a limited palette throughout the series.  Donna opted for Payne’s Grey, Teal, and Yellow Ochre for her workshop.  I swapped the ochre out with Green Gold, and find that going from a warm to a cooler color does change the feeling quite a bit, and this is leaning more towards an analogous color scheme.  Raw Umber is also used for some grunge glazing techniques.  White, black or gray may also be used.

Watch the process video below:

Acrylic Number Canvas Painting

Donna’s obsession with numbers ignited the same in me, and I found myself scouring stores.  New obsessions are hard on an impulse buyer! 😀

If you are looking for number components, here are some ideas:

  • Home improvement stores:  Check the mailbox aisle.  Lots of cheap number stickers here, and bigger/heavier numbers as well if you are looking for some focal points.  I also found some stencils in many sizes in this section.
  • Dollar store:  I found sheets of vinyl numbers (and letters) with some “garage sale” signs.  Three sheets for a buck, black numbers about 2 inches (example: the “3” on this canvas).  I bought them out!  They also sometimes have alphabet stickers in the stationary aisle.  Other ideas include flash cards, playing cards, sudoku and other puzzle books, and the teaching/kids section had some “number puzzles” – foam sheets with letter and number pop-outs.  They are awful colors, but I figured they can be adhered to a canvas and painted for a super dimensional look.
  • Craft stores/Amazon:  The sticker aisle will have oodles of letter and number stickers, though check the two above first.  Chipboard characters.  Stencils.  Also check stamp sets with numbers.  The “002” tag on this canvas was created with stamps from a Michaels “Recollections” set.  I have a few number sets, and grabbed some blank tags from Staples and Amazon (Amazon being cheaper, of course) and stamped a bunch up at once.  If you have a die cutting machine such as a Cuttlebug or Sizzix, consider getting some alphanumeric die sets.  The punched out numbers can be adhered with matte medium and left as-is or painted over, which would give you a cool number background texture.
  • Target:  Try the $1-3 section.  I found some large alphanumeric cutouts here.
  • Silhouette Cameo Owners:  Cut your own number stencils in various sizes!  I use clear plastic projector transparencies to cut my own stencils.  While not super durable (they can tear if handled wrong) they are easy to cut and cheap.  Stencils are great for either paint or modeling paste.
  • More Amazon:  If the above isn’t enough, check out coat check tags and bingo sheets!

Acrylic Number Canvas Painting

As you can see from the process video, I started out arranging a few number components on the blank white background, and the acrylic paint came after, adding several layers and glazes.  Golden Fluid acrylic paint was the main supply, though I threw in some Dye-Na-Flow ink sprays, gesso, and a little bit of charcoal pencil at the end.

Stay tuned for more from this series! 🙂  Thanks all!

Supplies Used:


DISCLAIMER: Affiliate links are used where possible. Thank you for your support!